SCAT eyes 20 Russian Sukhoi Super Jet-100s21 august 2015, 18:16
Kazakhstani airlines sector is undergoing changes with the coming of the new airlines Qazaq Air and the devaluation of the Kazakh national currency the tenge. One of the airlines SCAT is reported to be planning to contract 20 Russian Sukhoi Super Jet-100 (SSJ-100) aircraft, Tengrinews reports citing Izvestia.
The airline company is currently negotiating the terms of leasing of 20 aircrafts from the State Transportation Leasing Company in Russia. The dates of delivery have not been announced yet. Meanwhile, the price of SSJ-100 in catalogues equals to $36 million.
"It is an unexpected purchase for the considerably small company that has little over 20 aircrafts. Kazakhstani market is not going to be able to "digest" such a large number of airplanes considering the launch of the new regional airlines company Qazaq Air. The contract price (with Sukhoi) amounts to $500 million. This creates a considerable burden for the airline, especially with the falling national currency tenge," independent airlines expert Andrey Kramchenko said.
At the moment, the SCAT aircraft fleet consists of 18 aircrafts: seven Boeing 737, six Bombardier CRJ 200, four Boeing 757 and one Boeing 767.
It is not the first time, Sukhoi airplanes try to make it into the Kazakhstani market. In 2014, during the Franborough Airshow another Kazakhstani air company Bek Air signed a contract for seven SSJ-100 airplanes. The new airplanes were to be delivered in 2015 (3 aircraft) and 2016 (four aircraft). However, General Director of Bek Air Nurlan Zhumasultan said the deal with the Russian aircraft company was frozen for the time being.
“We decided to freeze the contract because of the sanctions imposed on Russia. We cannot afford to take on expensive aircraft and then face a lack of spare parts. In any case, we will return to the contract because these airplanes suit our technical and flight characteristics well,” Zhumasultan said.
Meanwhile, it is unclear how SCAT will react to the devaluation of the tenge that happened in the past two days after introduction of the free floating policies, and whether it will continue the negotiations with the Russian supplier.
By Gyuzel Kamalova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina